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Winner - Bronze
Designer: Mr. Dan Harden - President/CEO
Design Type: Medical & Scientific
Team Members:Jonathan Podmore "Apnicure", Jed Crowe "Apnicure", Dan Harden "Whipsaw", Ari Turgel "Whipsaw", Kyle Buzzard "Whipsaw" Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious condition that afflicts tens of millions of people. OSA patients suffer from repeated airway blockages that stop breathing during sleep, often hundreds of times per night. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a therapy that is typically used to treat OSA today, however its overall effectiveness is severely limited by poor patient utilization. Patients and their bed partners find CPAP objectionable because it is noisy, unsightly, uncomfortable, and generally difficult to use. CPAP device design is constrained by the need to force pressurized breathing air into the nose all night by way of a facemask, headgear, and large air hose. The design challenge was to develop a better treatment alternative that is easier for patients to use. The Winx System consists of a quiet, microprocessor-controlled, bedside console connected to a fitted mouthpiece with small flexible tubing. The console generates the negative pressure, collects excess saliva, and provides operation and usage feedback with lighted indicators and data ports (USB and SD card). The Winx System is simple to use, comfortable, compact, and travel friendly offering many advantages over the current standard of care (CPAP) by eliminating the need for a facemask, headgear, humidifier and pressurized air. ApniCure’s Winx Sleep Therapy System is a novel approach for treating OSA that implements well-proven pressure gradient therapy in an innovative way. The Winx System operates by maintaining a gentle negative pressure in the mouth, which creates a pressure gradient similar to that of the current standard of care therapy (CPAP). Because the negative pressure is delivered by a simple mouthpiece, many of the problems associated with CPAP are avoided, so more face mask, headgear, noise, mask leaks, irritated airway, or large air hose. In contrast, the Winx System entirely eliminates the need for masks and headgear, allows for natural nasal breathing, and provides the freedom to sleep in any position while being much more aesthetically appealing, virtually silent, highly portable, and easy to maintain. The benefits of the Winx System have been demonstrated in many sales to date. Winx is very easy to use because of its simple controls (single button and intuitive LED's), wrap around cord storage, compact form factor and instant set-up. Winx has an understated and relaxed product appearance, which is ideal for a sleep inducing product. Its white color provides a clean and trustworthy medical feel and also makes it compatible with home environments.